For migrants, Canada is haven, not Trump's America

"We are coming all the way from Jersey City," says the father, Mohammed Ahmed. The city near New York is more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) to the south.

For migrants, Canada is haven, not Trump's America

World Bulletin / News Desk

A taxi stops in the small town of Champlain. Loaded down with belongings, a family with two children gets out and hurries to the road's end at a stream marking the US-Canada border.

Talking while walking, he and his wife explain how they left Pakistan 11 months ago after getting death threats.

"We came to the US to ask for asylum," he said. But with new President Donald Trump's anti-immigrant policy "we are very much scared from deportation."

Across the New York state border in Quebec, two Canadian police officers warn them they will all be arrested for entering Canada illegally.

"It is all right," said the father. "We just need to cross the border."

He crosses the stream, shows his passport, and turns back to help their three-year-old daughter, then his wife who is carrying their three-month-old baby in a pouch, cross the rock-filled water. 

Conditions for making the crossing are good: It's cold but the sun is shining, and last week's snow has melted away.

A few minutes later the family finds itself, visibly relieved, in Canada.

The Canadian police bring them to the official border post of Lacolle, about 10 minutes away, where they will be questioned and their asylum request will be registered.

If all goes well, the family will then head to Montreal, 40 miles (65 kilometers) north.

This week, in less than two days, more than 70 people have crossed the stream into Canada, according to a tally by AFP and local police -- among them Haitian families, Colombians and many Muslims.

A Syrian family, who lived in the United States for 18 months and whose oldest daughter was to finish high school in June, left in a hurry after Trump banned entry of nationals of seven Muslim-majority countries, including Syria, for 90 days and barred entry by Syrian refugees indefinitely.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mart 2017, 17:47